Ex-Argentine Drag-Flicker Gonzalo Peillat Makes Statement of Intent on Debut for Germany

Gonzalo Peillat is a drag-flicking delight – the way he turns around and keeps coming up with penalty corner goals whenever the Argentinian team needed them, made him close to being an indispensable part of the Los Leonas. And after a seven-year spell with the Argentinian men’s hockey team, the 29-year-old, fell out with the Argentinean Hockey Federation over the manner in which they appoint coaches for the Los Leonas. Peillat had differences with the Argentinean Hockey Federation for the manner in which they re-hired Carlos Retegui in early 2018 one month after he had stepped aside citing lack of energy. The drag-flicker also did not get along with coach German Orozco and took a call to exit the Argentinian side.

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Peillat has acquired German citizenship this year and made a rollicking start to his international debut for the Honamas in the Pro League games against Spain. Peillat scored the fastest goal of the 2021-22 Pro League, unleashing a fierce drag-flick that brooked no answer from the Spanish goalkeeper Mario Garin within 45 seconds of the game – a goal that came in handy in Germany winning the first leg 2-1 – Peillat again came to the party scoring in Germany’s 1-1 regulation time scoreline against Spain in the second tie – a match where they won the shootout to secure the bonus point.

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Peillat, who plays club hockey in Germany for Mannheim HC, made his senior international debut at the 2012 London Olympics. His last appearance for Argentina in a major tournament was the 2018 World Cup, where they finished a disappointing seventh after losing 2-3 to England in the quarters – a game where Peillat scored both goals and was the second top goal-scorer with 6 goals. His moment of glory with Los Leonas was him hitting a rich vein of form and helping Argentina win their maiden Olympic gold medal at Rio in 2016. He slammed 11 goals in the Rio Olmpics. Peillat was also instrumental in Argentina winning a bronze medal at the 2014 World Cup in the Hague, where he emerged as the top goal-scorer with 10 goals.

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Peillat has also played in the Hockey India League for Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Kalinga Lancers. He also played club hockey for Malaysian club Terengganu, Dutch club HGC and Argentinean club Mitre. Germany struggled with penalty corners at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics – they could score only once out of 10 PCs they earned against India in the bronze medal play-off tie. His presence in the German side would shore up their drag-flicking firepower – Peillat teaming up alongside talented Lukas Windfeder will cause more headaches for their opponents.